Retired boxing icon Floyd Mayweather Jr. has offered crestfallen UFC superstar Ronda Rousey some words of encouragement following her second successive career defeat, which came against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
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In a video published by Fighthype.com, Pretty Boy told Rousey to "come back" amid speculation her loss to Nunes may prove to be her last bout in mixed martial arts:
Below is a transcription of Mayweather"s pep talk:
Ronda Rousey, hold your head up, stay focused, keep believing, a true champion can bounce back. You’ll be OK, everything will be OK.
I think that with her losing had a lot to do with time off.
Ronda Rousey has a lot left, she has a lot left. I don’t want her to think this is the end of the world.
She’s hearing it from the best—she’ll be OK. Ronda Rousey, hold your head up. You’re still a true champion in our eyes.
You made women’s MMA huge, so stay focused, go back to the drawing board and do what you’ve got to do. 2017 is a whole new year—you"re undefeated this year. Come back, champ.
Rousey has undoubtedly heard a wealth of advice from many different characters on where to go from here, but Mayweather may be one of the few whose words of wisdom actually take hold with the former UFC women"s bantamweight champion.
That being said, Mayweather isn"t talking from experience considering he hung up his gloves with a 49-0 professional record, meaning he"s never had to suffer the same trial Rousey herself is enduring.
Mayweather appeared as an unlikely source of advice for Rousey, too, after the latter took aim at "Money" following her double triumph at the 2015 ESPYs in July of that year, where she won Best Fighter and Best Female Athlete.
TIME"s Tessa Berenson reported on the jibe, when Rousey said, "I’d like to see you pretend to not know who I am now" after Mayweather claimed to not know of her the previous year.
Rousey later explained the call-out to TMZ Sports:
However, with Rowdy now on the back of her second career defeat and facing a fight to re-enter mixed martial arts, never mind recover her former footing in the sport, it seems Mayweather has extended an olive branch.
It"s unknown as to just where Rousey"s mind is leaning in regards to where her mixed martial arts career will go from here, although she did post a hopeful message to her Instagram on Tuesday:
Having once held her place as the UFC"s poster child, not to mention one of its biggest-ever pay-per-view draws—there no reason to believe Rousey can"t take Mayweather"s advice and come back to the Octagon she once dominated.
The Arm Collector may be lacking in confidence and/or mental strength at present, but the magnitude of her loss has been emphasised by even former bitter rival Cris "Cyborg" Santos offering words of encouragement.
Cyborg saw Rousey"s aforementioned Instagram post, which took inspiration from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and responded (h/t Yahoo):
I was sad to see the loss of the sport"s star, but you have so much ahead of you and blessed with the financial security to pursue all your passions. You opened the door for more promotion and grew into a sport icon. Enjoy the next chapter of life and know you"ve got amazing opportunities to continue changing the world.
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With even former enemies raising their hands to help Rousey through what"s arguably the toughest period in her career to date, there"s a chance we may see the broken icon make her return one day.